Two weeks ago, our son Simon was struggling to breathe. His oxygen levels were reading at 50-60% and Clark was sure our pulse oximeter must be getting a bad read. But it was measuring true.
Simon caught a respiratory bug from Luke, and his tiny, six-week-old airways were unable to tolerate the extra congestion.
That week Simon spent on supplemental oxygen has brought us an early Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving for access to excellent medical care in rural Kenya. For a spare oxygen tank and recently purchased infant vital sign monitors.
Thanksgiving for health and nights spent sleeping without an ear-open for wheezing or alarms.
And most of all, thanksgiving for people–the friends and strangers in our community who prayed for us.
For Annette and Dino who provided that excellent medical care. Who made home visits and lovingly managed Clark’s back-seat-but-really-trying-to-climb-into-the-front-seat doctoring.
For the Steens and the DeKonincks who (more than once) watched our other kids.
For the Roberts and Ganeys and Parkers and DeKonincks and Starks and Copelands and Rita and Mercy who brought food.
For Annette and the DeKonincks who didn’t ask but told us that they would be watching kids and Simon’s oxygen levels so Clark and I could get some sleep after a week spent without.
For pediatric medical officers Faith and Jemimah and NICU charge nurse Faith who made yet more home visits to draw blood, give IV antibiotics, and to pray with us.
After a hard week spent with physical worry-pain in my stomach, writing this in gratitude is simple.
Today Simon is off oxygen. He’s back to his normal self—tolerating the aggressive snuggles of his older siblings and even occasionally encouraging their endeavors with a smile.
And today we are thankful for you.
We are thankful for your prayers, your time taken to read our updates, your encouraging comments and emails, and your generous giving. Because of you we are privileged to serve and live in this tremendous community in Kenya.
With Thanksgiving and the end of year drawing near, here are some specific ways you can continue to join with us:
MAIL : Would you or your kids consider sending an encouraging Christmas letter to one of the missionary kids in our community? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll connect you with one of our young friends here. We’d also love to receive your family’s Christmas card. You can send it to:
Clark and Val Sleeth
PO Box 39
PRAYER: Please pray specifically for schools in Kenya. This term there have been unprecedented strikes, riots, and burning of dormitories. Students and teachers have been stretched by an accelerated academic schedule and shortened breaks as they try to make up for time lost due to COVID. The shorter school term lengths and finances needed to rebuild destroyed property have resulted in significant financial strain for many of our neighbors.
GIVE: While having a sick kid has in many ways deepened my gratitude, it has also made me more aware of the kids Clark and the pediatric team take care of who never leave the hospital. Here is our CHRISTMAS WISH-LIST for the pediatric patients at Tenwek:
- $30 to cover formula and diapers for one baby whose mom did not survive childbirth
- $50 to cover the costs of medical care, family education, and food for one malnourished child
- $100 to build an infant incubator (twenty needed)
- $150 to purchase a vital-sign monitors for NICU incubators (twenty needed)
- $200 to cover the cost of one dose of surfactant–this life-saving medicine given to babies with underdeveloped lungs reduces mortality rate in premature babies by 30% (we would love to cover the costs of one hundred–one-year’s-worth of–doses)
- $2500 to purchase a cardiac ultrasound probe (rheumatic heart disease from untreated strep infection is endemic here in Bomet county, this probe would be used daily to better care for these kids with heart failure)
- $50 in monthly support to cover the expenses which enable our family to live in Kenya
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
**written by Val Sleeth